Image from chiking
Actually, chimps are smarter than both you or I. I understand that this is a little shocking--the evolutionary equivalent of your younger brother bringing home Adriana Lima for Christmas--so I'll let you compose yourself, and explain just how the chimp got so smart below the jump.
It's not really all that bad--it's only short-term memory. We still have the chimps licked when it comes to cognitive ability, long term memory, and whole host of other mental tasks. However, Matsuzawa Tetsuro, a Kyoto-based primate researcher has tested 5-year old chimpanzees in a game where they had to recognize multiple numbers that were revealed to them very quickly, and the chimps walked away with an astounding 80% accuracy. For comparative purposes, a fantastic human score, posted by a first-year doctoral candidate is around 10 percent.
The best spin that science has been able to assemble so far is that we may have evolved away from short-term memory and perhaps the common ancestor of chimps and humans had a photographic memory. Why on earth would that happen, you might ask? A photographic memory is great for counting cards, blackmail, knowing where your keys are -all kinds of important tasks. It seems that photographic memory impairs abstract thought, which is essential to forming language.